A whirlwind 12 months for Coventry City

A whirlwind 12 months for Coventry City

At the start of the 2022/23 season, most Coventry City fans would never have dreamed that they would be within a couple of penalty kicks of starting the 2023/24 season in the promised land of the Premier League.

Latest dispute with ground owners

The club was in dispute with the ground owners, Wasps Rugby Club, for several reasons. There had been ongoing tensions for years, and then there was the added issue of the pitch not being fit for football at the start of the season after the Rugby Sevens competition of the 2022 Commonwealth Games had made a mess of the playing surface.

This resulted in more tensions between the club and their landlords as the football club had to postpone matches, which meant the Sky Blues fell behind the rest of the teams in the league after only being able to play away fixtures.

At the time, relegation to League One looked more plausible than promotion to the Premier League. The fact that Coventry is currently priced at odds of 19/1 in the latest Championship football betting markets to be promoted to the Premier League this season, rather than involved in the betting to be promoted back to the championship from League One, is a testament to the magnificent job done by manager Mark Robins and his coaching staff.

Turning Point for Coventry City fans

After falling behind the rest of the division due to not being able to play at CBS Arena, Mark Robins steadied the ship and gradually moved the team up the league table. But then, in November 2022, local businessman Doug King agreed to buy an 85% majority stake in the clubs, wiping out all the club’s immediate debts and taking over the day-to-day running of Coventry City from their previously despised – by the fans – owners.

King would eventually go on to take over complete control of the club in January 2023. At that stage of the season, the Sky Blues were having a bit of a blip on the pitch. But again, Mark Robins managed to settle things down and put the Sky Blues within range of reaching the playoffs.

Coventry pushed on again towards the end of the campaign and secured a place at the end of the season’s scrap to get into the Premier League with a 1-1 draw away to Middlesbrough on the last day of the season. They then knocked the same team out over two legs in the playoff semi-finals.

Playoff heartbreak

Ultimately, the Sky Blues fell short. After extra-time, the teams were locked at 1-1. Coventry then lost 6-5 in the penalty shoot-out, with Luton Town taking the final Premier League place ahead of the 2023/24 season, leaving the Sky Blues needing to rebuild again for another season in the Championship, after key figures left the club in the summer.

Remarkable recovery

But from where the Sky Blues were after the first six matches last season, to get within a couple of penalty kicks of reaching the Premier League was remarkable.

The Sky Blues were playing in League Two back in 2017/18. They’ve been on a long journey, and are still on it. The most ironic thing for fans of the club is that the team that ultimately ended their Premier League dream last season, Luton Town, have had an even crazier few years than even Coventry City has.

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